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What Happens During a Real Estate Closing in New Jersey?

Mar 13, 2024 | Real Estate

Real Estate Closings

Oftentimes, those entering a residential real estate transaction may find themselves wondering what happens during the process of closing in the State of New Jersey. When is it scheduled? What types of documents am I required to bring? Who will be in attendance?  

This Q&A provides insight regarding the process, requirements and outcomes of a residential real estate transaction in New Jersey, as explained by real estate attorney Tamer (Tom) Abdou Esq.  

Q: At what point during the real estate transaction, will I know my closing date?  

A: The closing date is reflected in the Contract and is a material term of a Contract. Generally speaking, a closing date shall be scheduled up to 45 days (about 1 and a half months) after a real estate contract is signed.  It can be scheduled earlier, but in most cases especially when a mortgage is involved, the average time from contract to closing is 45 days. More importantly, a closing can only occur when the matter is ready. Certain things have to happen before a closing can take place, including but not limited to inspections, mortgage approval, title search, and a clear to close from the lender. A closing can be delayed if there are any issues with respect to the aforesaid stages of a transaction. This is why it is important to stay in contact with your real estate attorney through every stage.  Ultimately, your real estate attorney will contact you to schedule your closing once final figures of the real estate transaction are confirmed and the mortgage is cleared for closing. Three (3) days prior to the real estate closing date, those involved with the transaction will receive a closing disclosure. Usually within 24 – 48 hours of the real estate closing, the Buyers will conduct a final walkthrough of the property prior to purchasing.  

Q: What documents am I required to bring to a closing?  

A: Both Buyers and Sellers are required to provide photo identification for the closing, such as a driver’s license and/or a passport. It is important to know before a real estate closing what forms of identification will be required. Buyers involved in a real estate transaction are also required to provide funds which can be the entire balance of the purchase price if it is a cash transaction, or the balance of the downpayment plus closing costs. Such funds are delivered on the date of closing through a wire transfer or a certified check. Sellers in a transaction should provide all final assets to the property such as keys, security codes and any other essential attachments to the property.  

Q: What is the best way to transfer funds? 

A: The most secure way of transferring funds is via a wire transfer. A wire transfer occurs when a buyer transfers funds to the title company’s trust or escrow account. However, when initiating the transfer on the day of closing, always call to verbally confirm the wire transfer instructions with the recipient over the telephone prior to the transfer. As there is fraud on the internet through email interception and “spoofing” so you must personally confirm the wiring instructions with the recipient of the wire (ie. Title company). Read our blog on the importance of verbally confirming wiring instructions with the recipient of the wire transfer, here 

Q: Who pays the closing costs in New Jersey?  

A: Both Sellers and Buyers pay closing costs, but the basis of these costs differ. These costs are reflected on the Closing Disclosures for the Seller and Buyer. Typically, Seller’s costs are the realtor’s commissions, the realty transfer fee, attorneys’ fees, adjustments, and any payoff of an existing mortgage or line of credit. The Buyer’s closing costs include bank fees, title fees, attorneys’ fees, adjustments, and often, the first year of homeowner’s insurance premium. Your attorney should be able to adequately explain all fees to you.  

Q: What happens after the closing concludes?  

A: Congratulations are in order! After the closing concludes, the Buyer will receive the keys and/or security codes to the property, and the Deed will be sent out for recording.  The Deed and the Buyer’s title policy will usually be issued within 6-8 weeks of the closing.  The Seller will have successfully sold their property, and as such, will receive their net proceeds on the day of closing.  



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